by the Editor-in-Chief
These big American monopolies say that they are offering us a free service and that “They do not sell our data, but make money to pay for their service by selling advertising.” They were the exact words from a seminar held this week in Helsinki from Facebook and Google.
If you believe their altruistic words then you really do believe in fairies. After the Cambridge Analytics scandal in the US and in the UK you should now reset your brain about what you do with both companies.
There should be a product warning that flashes up the moment you try to open their websites warning you that our democracy and our freedom of speech also at risk. Not only that, but your privacy is also being thrown out to commercial companies that want to profit richly from this data.
Again, a warning bell should ring when you search with Google, when you “Like” a Facebook friend’s page.
The cancer warning on cigarette boxes are an imperative, but much more is needed as a warning before you start to use Google and Facebook.
You are told that nothing you read or write can be tracked back to you by commercial or public entities. Again if you believe that altruistic speech then you still believe in fairies and Father Christmas!
In today’s world, your photograph, your email, your phone number, your address, your work place and your habits (public and secret) can be combined by simple cross-references and AI in a second or two.
Privacy laws are meaningless in this connected world, you are a mere ant in a huge ant colony with digital cameras in streets, shopping centres and stations and airport following your every move…
Even if these “free” companies do not make the connections, others certainly do, and their digital stores of goodies are used and cashed into profits, big profits, without a penny being placed back to you… and all this is done in total silence, way beyond the reach of regulators and the law.
And the above is just the start.
Google and Facebook steal news and advertising from bona fide newspapers using your data without paying and this limit the free press as it limits the media’s ability to pay decent salaries to journalists.
These two companies do not even pay their share of taxes open the profits they generate. Dumb politicians compete to offer both companies foothold in Finland, and elsewhere, when they want to open a Cloud Farms here! These are the richest and largest companies on this globe and they still ask and get huge tax benefits from Finland. That is totally crazy and unacceptable.
The 2 companies and Twitter also say that they do so much to stop fake news, hate and racist websites, and yet they let Trump scream nonsense and fake news every day without any effort to close him down. Is that right? Of course not!
Their greatest crime is to allow dictators to destroy democratic values – Facebook today claimed that they have 2.5 billion customers – how can they follow everybody? And yet the Myanmar government was able to run hate news for months against Rohingya Muslims on Facebook. Facebook claims they did not have sufficient language resources to stop this false news that led to mass killing! That is not an acceptable response since they allowed their company to be used for crimes against humanity.
Here is what Amnesty International say: “Burma’s stalled democratic transition has given way to a massive human rights and humanitarian crisis. Since August 2017, the military has committed mass killings, sexual violence, and widespread arson against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State that amount to crimes against humanity, forcing several hundred thousand to flee to Bangladesh. Armed conflict between the military and ethnic armed groups in northern Burma has intensified, causing mass displacement. Under Aung San Suu Kyi’s de facto leadership, prosecutions of journalists, activists, and critics have increased. The military remains the country’s most powerful institution, with control of key ministries and autonomy from civilian oversight.”
Facebook, like the others, have blood on their hands…
FinnishNews/NordicWeek uses all three companies to spread our serious articles and columns. So far none of the companies have made any effort to close our accounts, which they generously allow us to use. We would prefer a third sector voluntary organisation to do this work but no European organisation has been able to create such a network. Perhaps that because these three monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speech no evil”) occupy such a dominant position with blood money.